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Exploring the Affordable Housing Shortage’s Impact on American Workers, Jobs, & The Economy

The United States has underbuilt housing by millions of homes over the past 15 years. In fact, the decade immediately after the Great Recession saw less housing construction than during any previous decade since the 1960s. A housing supply inadequate to meet demand affects not just major coastal cities but also communities of all types across America. The housing shortage directly hurts families by raising their housing costs to unaffordable levels. And it has broad national implications—limiting labor mobility, productivity, economic growth, and opportunity.

This report offers an overview of the housing supply shortage and affordability crisis, including a summary of recent research demonstrating the impact of an underbuilt housing stock on American workers and labor markets. The report closes by reviewing potential federal policy solutions to eliminate barriers to and incentivize housing construction and preservation, the benefits of which would extend economy wide.

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